Banks call for permanent electronic mortgage applications

author-avatar By on June 18, 2020
Banks call for permanent electronic mortgage applications

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Bank and housing organisations have today called on the National Cabinet to make electronic mortgage applications permanent post-COVID-19.

Many banks and lenders have introduced electronic mortgage applications, video call document witnessing, electronically-signed documents and more as temporary relief measures during COVID-19.

Now, a coalition consisting of the Australian Banking Association (ABA), the Business Council of Australia, the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Council of Small Business Organisations, the Financial Services Council, the Real Estate Institute of NSW (REINSW) and the Australian Property Institute are all calling on the National Cabinet to make such changes permanent.

 ABA chief Anna Bligh said making these measures permanent will be the way of the future.

“The onset of COVID-19 has meant fast-tracking moves right across the economy to a paperless, contactless digital way of conducting business,” Ms Bligh said.

The coalition has suggested the following changes be made permanent:

  • Allow deeds to be created and signed electronically;
  • Accept electronic signatures rather than paper signatures for a broader range of legal and business documents, including guarantees, statutory declarations and trust deeds;
  • Allow witnessing of documents to happen via audio-visual means with use of an electronic signature. Witnessing should not be required for deeds; and
  • Processing a mortgage digitally.

Many states have their own versions of an Electronic Transactions Act, which generally stipulate that transactions are not invalid simply because they are conducted electronically.

However, common law throughout the states often dictates that deeds and mortgages must be made 'in writing, on paper, parchment or vellum', as is the case in Victoria - documents are also required to be witnessed. 

Buying a home or looking to refinance? The table below features home loans with some of the lowest variable interest rates on the market for owner occupiers.

Lender
Advertised rate Comparison rate Monthly repayment Rate TypeOffsetRedrawOngoing FeeUpfront FeesLVRLump Sum RepaymentAdditional RepaymentsPre-approval

VariableMore details
LIMITED TIME OFFER

Smart Booster Home Loan Discounted Variable - 2yr (LVR < 80%)

  • Fast turnaround times, can meet 30-day settlement
  • For purchase and refinance, min 20% deposit
  • No ongoing or monthly fees, add offset for 0.10%
LIMITED TIME OFFER

Smart Booster Home Loan Discounted Variable - 2yr (LVR < 80%)

  • Fast turnaround times, can meet 30-day settlement
  • For purchase and refinance, min 20% deposit
  • No ongoing or monthly fees, add offset for 0.10%
VariableMore details
AN EASY ONLINE APPLICATION

Yard Home Loan (Principal and Interest) (Special) (LVR < 70%)

  • Unlimited additional repayments
  • Unlimited free redraws
  • Optional 100% offset can be added for $120 p.a.^
AN EASY ONLINE APPLICATION

Yard Home Loan (Principal and Interest) (Special) (LVR < 70%)

  • Unlimited additional repayments
  • Unlimited free redraws
  • Optional 100% offset can be added for $120 p.a.^
FixedMore details
NO UPFRONT OR ONGOING FEES

Basic Home Loan Fixed (Principal and Interest) (LVR < 70%) 3 Years

NO UPFRONT OR ONGOING FEES

Base criteria of: a $400,000 loan amount, variable, fixed, principal and interest (P&I) home loans with an LVR (loan-to-value) ratio of at least 80%. However, the ‘Compare Home Loans’ table allows for calculations to made on variables as selected and input by the user. All products will list the LVR with the product and rate which are clearly published on the Product Provider’s web site. Monthly repayments, once the base criteria are altered by the user, will be based on the selected products’ advertised rates and determined by the loan amount, repayment type, loan term and LVR as input by the user/you. Rates correct as of October 26, 2021. View disclaimer.

Then-NSW MP Victor Dominello in 2018 told Westpac Wire that in the digital world, people should not have to rush to solicitors and bankers to sign paper documents.

“Unfortunately the laws dealing with property acquisition phase are still stuck in the age of paper and ink," he said.

Then-director at Westpac Tim Roberts also said Australian technology around mortgages was "ancient" compared to other products.

Business Council of Australia chief Jennifer Westacott called on the government to "suspend outdated, unnecessary and job-killing red tape that was making it harder to do business".

“As we recover we should all ask ourselves at every step of the way, will bringing back these regulations help keep costs down for consumers or help make Australia an easier place to do business and create new jobs?” she said.

Australian Property Institute chief Amelia Hodge echoed these sentiments.

“Let’s reduce red tape and promote growth and activity in the property sector – that’s what we need from Federal and State Governments," she said.

REINSW chief Tim McKibbin said the legislative restraints on signing, witnessing and lodging documents electronically are "unjustified", while Australian Institute of Company Directors Angus Armour said these regulations are "outdated".


Disclaimers

The entire market was not considered in selecting the above products. Rather, a cut-down portion of the market has been considered which includes retail products from at least the big four banks, the top 10 customer-owned institutions and Australia’s larger non-banks:

  • The big four banks are: ANZ, CBA, NAB and Westpac
  • The top 10 customer-owned Institutions are the ten largest mutual banks, credit unions and building societies in Australia, ranked by assets under management in November 2020. They are (in descending order): Great Southern Bank, Newcastle Permanent, Heritage Bank, Peoples’ Choice Credit Union, Teachers Mutual Bank, Greater Bank, IMB Bank, Beyond Bank, Bank Australia and P&N Bank.
  • The larger non-bank lenders are those who (in 2020) has more than $9 billion in Australian funded loans and advances. These groups are: Resimac, Pepper, Liberty and Firstmac.
  • If you click on a product link and you are referred to a Product or Service Provider’s web page, it is highly likely that a commercial relationship exists between that Product or Service Provider and Savings.com.au

Some providers' products may not be available in all states. To be considered, the product and rate must be clearly published on the product provider's web site.

In the interests of full disclosure, Savings.com.au, Performance Drive and Loans.com.au are part of the Firstmac Group. To read about how Savings.com.au manages potential conflicts of interest, along with how we get paid, please click through onto the web site links.

*Comparison rate is based on a loan of $150,000 over a term of 25 years. Please note the comparison rate only applies to the examples given. Different loan amounts and terms will result in different comparison rates. Costs such as redraw fees and costs savings, such as fee waivers, are not included in the comparison rate but may influence the cost of the loan.

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Harrison is Savings.com.au's Assistant Editor. Prior to joining Savings in January 2020, he worked for some of Australia's largest comparison sites and media organisations. With a keen interest in the economy, housing policy, and personal finance, Harrison is passionate about breaking down complex financial topics for the everyday consumer.

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